As organisations set net zero targets, it is important that their policies, procurement documents and contract documents remain fit for purpose and reflect those goals. Not only is that important to achieve net zero across their value chain, but it helps signpost change to staff, stakeholders and suppliers.
We advise many of our clients on developing, managing and updating their precedent documents. That includes developing suitable climate related drafting for a range of commercial agreements, including building contracts, leases, procurement frameworks and wider supply chain contracts. For some clients this is about future-proofing documents, but many are already working closely with their wider value chain to identify and reduce emissions.
As a firm we have contributed to The Chancery Lane Project (TCLP) – a pro bono organisation that brings together leading lawyers from across the world to develop precedent climate focused drafting. While many of the clauses are a useful starting point, they need careful review and consideration.
It isn’t just about drafting suitable clauses though. Delivering against net zero targets requires a more collaborative approach between the client and its wider value chain. Our work on green leases has demonstrated the benefits of more collaborative relationships – helping landlords and tenants (or customers and suppliers) work together to target emissions reductions and help mitigate climate change risks. Without suitable collaborative approaches to share relevant data, organisations will continue to struggle to accurately map and target their carbon footprint.
Many organisations are not in a position to incorporate the full range of climate related drafting into active projects. There are natural concerns around added complexity leading to delay and additional costs. But increasingly interests are aligned, and landlords, tenants and suppliers are more engaged about sharing data and helping to achieve collective targets. Our understanding of the nuances of the TCLP clauses (and how these have been modified in use) helps us deliver a proportional approach to contract drafting - tailoring clauses to meet our client's immediate and longer-term requirements.
While organisations continue to target reduction in carbon emissions, the increasing availability of data will help them more accurately map their wider Scope 3 emissions. It is likely that climate related drafting will become more ambitious and sophisticated. Our expertise in this area means we are well placed to advise on their potential impact.
Our cross-departmental working group brings together lawyers from across the business to provide seamless advice on climate related clauses for contracts and documents.
We advise on a full range of contract documents across the firm's practice areas. Whether it is energy efficiency provisions in a construction contract, green lease provisions, renewable energy procurement, navigating climate related financial disclosures or placing obligations on your supply chain to report and reduce their Scope 3 emissions – we bridge the gap between precedent drafting and achievable project specific provisions that align with each client's net zero strategy.
The key challenge is obtaining data, and getting alignment of goals across your wider value chain. Our expertise in climate related drafting helps your business achieve its net zero goals, and the potential for more collaborative approaches.